Hey maaaaan. Rob Lee here and there’s something on my mind – downtown Baltimore. So I work, in reality land aka my day job, in downtown Baltimore. Downtown has always been a part of my life from weekly visits with my parent to Lexington Market to recently performing Mastermind Team’s Robcast at The Annex Theatre. It’s historic down there – but it’s also hollow. There are my condemned buildings and can feel like a ghost town at night. With those condemned building there are also condemned people. I’ll provide a quick list, a top 3 of condemned people you’ll see in downtown Baltimore.
Downtown Baltimore | Number 1 ~ Hustlers
These are the men, women and children you’ll see asking for money one way or another. From the fake-Muslims selling ill-begotten and knock-off goods on Howard Street or the drug dealers. Here’s the thing about drug dealers – they think they’re clever by calling weed “loud”. You’re selling trash, my guy. I smoke weed and calling something “loud” doesn’t impress me, call it something whimsical – like imagine a drug dealer – you can notice them by their dingy True Religion jeans, knockoff chains and new balances – saying “Yo, I got that magic.” I may be inclined to buy. I’m still sure it’s dirt weed. Also, you have the squeegee kids – ever in danger of getting hit by a car anywhere on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Lastly, you have panhandlers. We have a terrible homelessness problem in Baltimore but some of these fuckers are aggressive and entitled. You may say you don’t have any cash and they have a counteroffer- like “Aren’t you going to 7-11? Ask for cash back.” Da fuck?!!!
Downtown Baltimore | Number 2 ~ Addicts
There’s been talk about an opioid epidemic but strangely it only became a topic once the suburbs and middle America started becoming impacted. For years, in fact, decades, I’ve seen people in Lexington Market and surrounding streets in the grips of the junkie lean. People like drugs but Downtown is gnarly and the addicts need what they need – they’re sick. I won’t blame them for their sickness but I will blame them for being dogs. How are they dogs? You’re asking – here’s how – you know how a dog shits on the sidewalk – well these zombie-like addicts do the same – I can’t watch my every step with insane drivers out here downtown rushing to beat DC traffic to also avoid the mounds of what I can only accept as human feces. Surely there’s no pack of large dogs roaming and shitting downtown – there are addicts too. But honestly, I get it and again it’s not their fault at all – for their addiction – for shitting it’s totally their fault. There are many conditions from mental health to genes that contribute to their addition. Additionally, they can be a source for unexpected comedy and introspection. Addicts can say the darndest things and they can make you think of your own life decisions.
Downtown Baltimore | Number 3 ~ Wypipo (whi-te-peo-pl-e)
Lastly, the whites – always last but always around. The aforementioned groups aren’t segmented by race but this group certainly is. This group has a duality in my opinion – there are some who genuinely love downtown for its grim and grit while other fake love it and have a savior mentality. The lovers are the artsy, liberal types who may have a problem holding down a traditional job but are the shit – not addict shit – but theeeeeee shit. They’re genuinely good people. Conversely the others are horrible – they’re fake claiming to be a city dweller but secretly and even as microaggressions hate the city. They talk about how unsafe it is, which is a valid point, but they’re coloring that point. Like every addict or hustler happens to be a ‘non-white’ and they’re afraid. They have this savior complex like every racial, cultural or classist criticism is said to affect change. It’s not, you’re just complaining. They may work for a law firm and do a few things downtown but live in Manchester, MD or Odenton. You’re from the county so don’t speak on city problems. As we’ve seen, county folk don’t get the city nor do they care about it’s best interest – what’s cracking Larry Hogan?
So there you have it – my top three of people you’ll see in downtown Baltimore. Do you agree? Did I forget anyone? Let me know in the comments or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org